Growlygracepress's Blog


tiny books of promise.
March 27, 2014, 11:14 am
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These are a tray of the little miniature books. I was told “I had shot what little credibility I had left” and I have to conclude that they are on the money with that.

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I don’t care of novelty and I don’t want to make christmas tree decorations.



letters and colour.
March 27, 2014, 11:12 am
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This is a quick try out of my new font with some colour combinations. Think my heart belongs to clarendon but I’ll do some more work with it.

I was talking to someone the other day who was fairly appalled at my ideas of books with Geordie terms of endearment on them. So I know I am right.



middle aged bald woman goes in to a skateboard shop.
March 27, 2014, 11:04 am
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This is my new hat isn’t it great. I seen it in the window of the skateboard shop and I immediately wanted it. But it was £30 and I am still a poor cat. I left it and went to the leather merchants and kicked off about the performance of some calf they sold me and rejected a lot of leather then I went to the art shop were I bought 100 sheets of paper and cut all of them in half so I could cary it home.

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I debated in both shops about buying the hat and staff were encouraging pointing out that as it was reversible I get two hats for the price of one. Good point well presented. So I went back to the skateboard shop and bought it. I am well pleased.

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I have aways like botanic prints with a black back ground. I have introduced my hat to every one I meet and I am well happy with it. I wear it at the allotment with pride.

Good hat.



Getting to ‘know’ tools.
March 27, 2014, 8:23 am
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My niece once told her mum that she didn’t want to go to her regular dance class because she ‘was not very good at the dancing’ in that sad little statement there is everything you need to know about fear, of being ridiculed, of being ‘found out’.

‘Not very good at the dancing’ is a short hand code I use when I realise I have lost the control of the making process and my work is going to be exposed as not good enough.

I have been working with some tools and equipment that I am not satisfied with their performance but it’s me thats not very good at the dancing. To get the best of these tools requires practice, patience and I have to get to know them. This is like working with a new musical instrument and we need to practice the scales to get to know each other.

To condemn a tool to eBay because principally because I have unrealistic ideas about the how it should perform is short sighted.



that post about the louet awl gauge with the photographs all fixed up.
March 25, 2014, 2:14 pm
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Sometimes I come across a tool that is just a joy to use. It does the job it has been made for with such deft and you get a real buzz from using it.

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This is the Louet awl gauge. It’s available for the good people at Shepherds and the link is to the left. Under Materials.

There is many kinds of bookbinding going on, I make books with blank pages as opposed to some one involved in book repair or conservation where they are going to resew the book using the original sewing stations.

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On the other hand I am making a book with new paper. So I want to make the holes for the sewing and tapes in each signature before I sew it up.

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Previously I would stick the book block in the lying press use an engineer’s square to mark the spine up and then I would use a small hand saw to cut the book. I used a small saw and a light touch. If I am working on a big series of books they would have been sawn.

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Adjust the the screw until you get the measurements right and then mark the holes you will pierce and enjoy the experience.

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Yes it’s an expensive tool but you will never regret buying it. If you use it in a teaching session students who have never book bound before take it like a duck to water. I’ve had students come in the next day and say they bought one.

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If you do buy one buy the awl that was designed to use for it yes it’s expensive as well but it’s nice in the hand.

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All our tools should be this good.

I use a pencil to label the hole I need to pierce and I should have used a bit of tape.

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This is the ‘gutter’

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Go on you know you want one.

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If I was the Louet people in The Netherlands I would seriously think of changing it’s name to something like to “miracle bookbinding tool”.



This is what I am going to achieve today.
March 24, 2014, 9:43 am
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First of all I am going to evict these books to another place. I have been looking at what problems I encounter when I make a number of books at the same time and closing in on the production problems. I have now got enough answers. So I am going to put these away as they are only paper and paste and I don’t need to finish them.

So I am going to clear up the work area. Plan out the work for the week. Have a play with my beautiful new font.

I am going to do some experimental lettering on leather with some stunning colour combinations. I am salivating at the thought of it already.

I will not even bother with putting this lettering on an actual book and I will just produce an experiment. Bold intentions indeed.

I am going to be thinking of some advertising copy to promote the little books so I can get some plates made.
I seen on ebay a little metal block of a blue bird sold for £23! What ever nonsense I come up with about buying the little books I of all people am going to stick a bird on it!

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When allotments and bookbinding collide.
March 24, 2014, 9:29 am
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This is my vertical plough I couldn’t get it clamped down to a workbench so I took it to the kitchen table and had a go with it there. But the table was too light and the ploughing to excitable resulting in the table moving all over the shop. It was no fun.

Later I needed to pot out these handsome courgettes, these are lovely Lebanese types and I have way to many of them.

I am going to only eat finger size bay courgettes next year because if you turn your back on a courgette plant for even a minute you are rewarded with courgettes the size of seal pups.

Not only that people flee from you as you try and give away courgettes. You only need about four plants and I think I have at least fifteen.